Systematic Theology is a discipline in Christian theology that divides doctrines into categories. Here are the eleven most epic topics of Systematic Theology:
Bibliology is the doctrine of the Bible. Issues in bibliology include inspiration and canonization as well as hermeneutics. In other words, where does the Bible come from? What books are in the Bible? How should we read the Bible?
Theology Proper is the doctrine of God the Father. Discussions of theology proper are likely to include the existence of God, His divine attributes and names, the Trinity, and the works of the Father.
Christology is the doctrine of God the Son. Christology can be divided into the person and works of Christ. The doctrine of His person will include topics such as His divinity and humanity, eternality, relation with the Trinity, and hypostatic union (the combination of divinity and humanity in one Person). His works can be studied dispensationally (how He works in history, present, and future), and his deeds and teaching on earth are deserving of special attention.
Pneumatology is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Pneumatology can be divided into the person and works of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the person of the Holy Spirit can get into His divinity and personality. The works of the Holy Spirit can be studied dispensationally with extra attention being given to His current ministries, including baptism, sealing, restraining, reproving, filling, indwelling, etc.
Angelology is the doctrine of angels. The angels can be divided into classes, which lead to the subdoctrines of demonology and Satanology (the doctrines of demons and Satan). In addition to studying angel classes, their personalities and history are also edifying topics.
Anthropology is the doctrine of man. It includes man’s origin and facets. The fall of man is another topic in anthropology and it feeds into the next big doctrine: hamartiology.
Hamartiology is the doctrine of sin. The origin of sin and its effect on humanity have caused much controversy within Christendom. These are fundamental questions that all worldviews seek to answer.
Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation. While the Gospel can be explained in simple terms (faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life), it can also be analyzed in detail to consider all of the technical nuances of how salvation happens.
Israelology is the doctrine of Israel. The election and covenants of Israel as well as her dispensational history (and future) are major themes in Israelology. The Church’s neglect of this important doctrine has lead to Israelology being called “the missing link in systematic theology.”
Ecclesiology is the doctrine of the Church. The study of ecclesiology can be divided into topics relating to the universal Church and the local church. Universal Church topics include the Church’s origin and future as well as her function, relation to Christ, and blessings. Local church topics tend to focus on church makeup and management.
Eschatology is the doctrine of last things. Eschatology entertains questions of what will become of mankind and its various categories, as well as the future of the earth, the angels, and sin.
When reading the Bible, it is helpful to consider how the biblical authors develop these doctrines. With time and study, systematic theology becomes more cohesive and complete in the reader’s mind, which ultimately leads to a greater appreciation of God and His Word.
…it’s also just fun to know a bunch of neat words that end in “–ology.”